Tanya Coats Occupational Therapy

What is a Smith’s fracture?

A Smith’s fracture is a fracture to the distal radius (wrist). It is often called a reverse Colle’s fracture; the more common type of distal radius fracture.

A Colle’s fracture occurs from falling and landing on an extended wrist (palm side of the hand). The fracture can often displace backwards in the direction of the injury. Whereas a Smith’s fracture is caused by falling with the wrist flexed and the fracture can displace forwards, also in align with the direction of force.

Treatment depends on the severity of the fracture. An undisplaced stable fracture can be immobilized in a splint or cast for approximately 6 weeks. Therapy will focus on reducing swelling, pain and mobilizing the joints that are uninvolved while in the cast. A displaced and/or comminuted fracture may be manipulated back into place or require surgery to fix the fracture using a plate and screws. Therapy will focus on reducing swelling, pain and if the fracture is fixed and stable, early wrist motion may be commenced. Once the fracture is healed, strengthening and exercises to help you return to function will be commenced and graded.

If you need help with this, feel free to contact me or book an appointment online.

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